The Royals got some good news Tuesday ahead of game six of the World Series.
Top pitching prospect Kyle Zimmer, who has been plagued by injuries since being drafted in 2012, had shoulder surgery by David Altchek on Tuesday afternoon in New York.
Zimmer had what the team described as “a small debridement of his rotator cuff and labrum.”
“It was about the best result we could have gotten out of it,” assistant general manager J.J. Picollo said. “It’s a clean-up. They go in and take a look at whatever they need to take a look at and through that, they determined all they needed to do was clean up some edges.”
Picollo expects it will take about six months for Zimmer to make a full recovery. Zimmer should be able to throw prior to spring training, then build up his strength. Zimmer likely will start next season at Class AA Northwest Arkansas.
At that point, the Royals hope Zimmer can focus on his future, which if all goes right, includes being a part of the rotation in Kansas City.
The No. 5 overall pick in the 2012 draft, Zimmer has had a number of setbacks.
He had a minor elbow operation in 2012, and the next year his season ended prematurely because of biceps tendinitis, which returned last winter as he worked out.
Zimmer went to spring training with the Royals in February, but he was sidelined for much of 2014 because of a strained latissimus dorsi muscle in the back of his shoulder.
After returning to help Omaha win the Class AAA championship game, Zimmer went to the Arizona Fall League. Despite initial success — he struck out 11 in a five-inning stint — Zimmer left a start on Oct. 18 after one inning.
Zimmer reported an inability to loosen up and tightness around his shoulder.
After another round of scans and visits with doctors in Kansas City, he went to New York to meet with Altchek, the Mets’ team physician.
That led to Tuesday’s procedure.
“It was very minor, which is very good news,” Picollo said. “It gave us some answers for why he was feeling what he was feeling.”